HUNTINGsmart! USA Knowledge Base
Module 08 - HUNTING PREPARATION
This is your head-to-toe checklist for the clothing you’ll need to go hunting. Have you got all this stuff?
- Your boots are by far, the most important item on this list. They should be sturdy, waterproof and broken in. Never wear brand new boots on your first hunt—a raging blister will definitely interrupt your day. Break them in!
- Use two pairs—the first pair will wick away the sweat from your feet and the other pair will keep your toes warm. Pack spares too.
- Rain gear:
- Full-body rain suits made of plastic or rubber will keep you warm and dry in the rain, but they don’t ‘breathe’ very well and may cause you to sweat. Rain suits really only work for hunters with low activity levels (the stationary non-sweaters), like hunters squatting in damp duck blinds.
- Hip waders:
- You should wear waders if you’re going to be walking or standing in cold water. But NEVER wear them if you’re boating in deep water—waders can fill with water and weigh you down if you fall in the lake. You’ll sink like a stone. On that note, boaters, wear your lifejackets.
- The only way to keep your drawers dry is by wearing quick drying and breathable fabrics. You may want spares of these too.
- If you’re wearing a camouflage outer layer, make sure it’s as water and wind resistant as it is cool looking. Insulated vests are common for those hunting in cool weather. They’re warm, breathable, they allow for movement and they usually have large pockets to hold your shells and other hunting equipment. Always opt for hunter or ‘blaze’ orange outerwear.
- No denim—deer can see blue as vividly as you can see blaze orange. Other than that, just follow the layering rule:
- A moisture wicking layer.
- An insulation layer.
A protective shell.
Wise Words: Removing UV Brighteners
Most clothing manufacturers place UV brighteners in new clothing. Deer have excellent vision so these UV brighteners will actually glow in low light to a deer. To lose the glow, wash your new clothing with baking soda and vinegar. This will eliminate smell too.
- Head gear:
- Wear a hat to protect your head. Blaze orange hats are easy to find and inexpensive. Make sure it fits—a loose hat could fall over your eyes when you’re shooting.
- Face paint:
- You can buy the real stuff at a sportsman’s store, just make sure you avoid anything that will leave a glossy look on your face. If you’re looking to save a few bucks, just burn the end of a wine cork and smear the soot on your face. Or find some mud you can smear on your face.
- Good gloves are essential in cold weather for keeping your hands warm and for protection against cuts and blisters.
- Latex gloves:
- Pack latex gloves for field dressing.
Check This Out: Cold Weather Layers
Can you shoot your firearm properly with all those clothes on? If you’re bundled up for Northern grizzly country, your clothing layers may be too thick to be able to properly shoulder your rifle and line up your scope. Find out before you go.